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Budget Prioritizes Health, Safety of Tennesseans

Mar 20, 2020 by AFP

NAHSVILLE, TN – Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) today commended the state legislature for passing the budget and prioritizing the health and safety of Tennesseans.

Americans for Prosperity State Director Tori Venable issued the following statement:

“We commend Governor Lee, Lt. Governor McNally, and the legislature for passing a budget that prioritizes public safety while ensuring our civil liberties are not jeopardized. We’re encouraged the legislature plans to reconvene and continue to work on criminal justice reform and other policies that break down barriers so Tennesseans can live the American dream.

“We commend the legislature for including innovations like telemedicine in the budget that are the key to increasing access to health care. We thank the legislature for acting swiftly and removing barriers to telehealth services that will make a difference during this public health emergency. Not only does this legislation benefit us now, it will continue to help Tennesseans better meet their health needs at lower costs and greater convenience in the future.”

Background:

In recent years, Tennessee has made great strides expanding access to telemedicine. In 2014, the legislature approved House Bill 1895, which authorized health care providers licensed in Tennessee to deliver telemedicine from facility to facility.

Empowering health care providers to deliver telemedicine would significantly increase health care access. At least 38 percent of in-person visits, including 27 percent of emergency department visits, could be remotely delivered by qualified professionals through telemedicine. These remote services would have enormous health benefits for patients in underserved areas without reliable access to physicians.

Expanding access to telemedicine would also help patients reduce health care expenses. Telemedicine-based home health programs in the Veterans Health Administration have reduced the rate of hospitalizations by 35 percent by remotely monitoring chronically ill patients and providing timely interventions. These innovations saved nearly $2,000 for every individual within the program.